BRENDAN MOORE will referee the Dafabet World Championship final, a proud moment for a much respected official who lives just a short walk from the Crucible theatre in Sheffield.
Inside Snooker caught up with Brendan as he prepared to take charge of the biggest match of the year…
Being given the world final must be the ultimate for a referee?
It is, it’s the highest accolade you can get. As all the other refs have said, it’s the pinnacle of your career so I can’t wait.
There’s a lot attention on the fact you are doing the final so how are you feeling? Are you nervous?
At the moment I’m raring to go. I hadn’t given it any thought for the entire tournament. I’ve had four other matches to referee but as soon as I finished the quarter-final on Wednesday I realised the next time I will be walking out will be for the final, so I’m eager to get going now.
And of course you’re a Sheffield man, so that makes it even more special?
Yes, it’s superb. I live literally five minutes away from the Crucible and there’s been a great buzz around Sheffield. I’ve done loads of interviews and the reception has been brilliant.
Will your routine be the same as it would be for any other match or will you do anything different?
The session starts at two o’clock. I’ll aim to get here or quarter to one, I’ll get changed into my dress suit, set the table up, disappear and have a coffee, sit down, have a sandwich and then get going. So basically the same thing that I do wherever we are.
When did you find out you were doing the final?
When we were in Preston for the Players Championship finals. Mike Ganley [World Snooker tournament director] pulled me to one side and said, just to let you know, you’re doing the world final.
Did you use to come to the Crucible to watch the snooker?
Yes I came for years. I came for about ten years in a row with my dad to the final. Some years we didn’t have tickets so would stand in a queue from nine o’clock in the morning until some got returned. I used to be a bus driver in Sheffield and there were occasions when I finished work at one o’clock, would run up and watch the 2.30 session.
Did your bus go past the Crucible?
Yes, one of the stops is literally right outside.
I don’t suppose you drove a no.147 bus?
No, but I drove a no.47.
So why the career change? Did you have an ambition to become a top referee?
No, I sort of fell into it by accident. I became a referee because I’m captain of a team in Sheffield and I wanted to know the rules. I refereed a few games in Sheffield and then went to Wellingborough for the European under 19s in 2004, with the likes of Mark Allen and Judd Trump playing. Len Ganley was the senior referee on site. He liked me, got in touch with World Snooker and said they should take a look at me. So it was never my intention until I went to Pontin’s for the first time and thought that I could do this.
How does the Crucible compare to other venues for a referee? Is this the best one to ref at or are there certain challenges that you don’t have elsewhere?
There are challenges because of how small the venue is when it’s two tables, but there’s no venue in the world like it. I’m not just saying that because it’s in Sheffield, but as a snooker man and referee. We referee all over the world in front of bigger crowds. I’ve done the Masters final and two UK finals but there’s something different here. There were twice as many people at Alexandra Palace [for the Masters] but the Crucible is unique. Everything about it is special. It’s really difficult to describe but it’s the ultimate venue.
Have any of the other referees given you any pointers for doing the final?
Yes, all the referees who have done it before, like Jan [Verhaas], Michaela [Tabb], Eirian [Williams] and Paul [Collier] have been really great, giving advice as to how to handle the day. And I’ve had congratulations from the likes of Leo [Scullion], Terry [Camilleri] and Olivier [Marteel]. So it’s nice, it’s a close-knit group and they’ve all been supportive.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.